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Delcam

CMSC

Delcam Launches New PowerINSPECT Offering

Easier CAD-based inspection; PartAligner and Tubing modules added

Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 20:49

Delcam’s PowerINSPECT can now label individual points within point clouds from laser scanners.

(Delcam plc, Birmingham, UK) -- Delcam has launched the 2010 version of its PowerINSPECT inspection software, which offers even easier inspection of parts, tooling, and prototypes against CAD data. The system is already the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software, with this new version making it even more attractive to users of all types of metrology equipment, including manual and CNC CMMs, inspection arms, and optical devices.

In the 2010 version of PowerINSPECT, the creation and editing of inspection sequences has been improved by adding the ability to insert extra points or features anywhere within the sequence, not just at the end. This will be useful for all users but especially for those creating inspection sequences with larger numbers of measurements. It will also make it easier to update complex sequences during long production runs, when process or design changes require modifications to the inspection routine.

The “simple measures” functionality included in the previous PowerINSPECT release has been extended in the latest version. The range of predefined inspection sequences for common measurement patterns has been increased, and simple alignments have been introduced.   

The GD&T Wizard has also been improved and simplified. PowerINSPECT now offers the ability to select features from the CAD view, with item types shown by an icon, making selection easier.

PowerINSPECT 2010 includes improved simulation for checking sequences that are to be run on CNC CMMs or to be used for on-machine verification. The collision checking has been made more flexible and easier to use, with options to stop the sequence automatically once a collision is detected and to continue the simulation until the next problem is found.

The ability to reuse measurement results has been extended. PowerINSPECT 6 introduced the ability to create a feature from a combination of other features, for example, to combine the results from a series of circles to create the inspection report for a cylinder. PowerINSPECT 2010 builds on this functionality with the new “point source” feature which gives the ability to define these relationships offline. This improves consistency for batch measurement, with the measurements being able to be reused in the same way for every component.

Labels for reporting purposes can be attached to selected points within point clouds generated by laser scanners. For example, the user could highlight in the report the points that are furthest out of tolerance or could identify critical points in the design for detailed reporting.

Delcam has also added two new options for its PowerINSPECT inspection software.  PowerINSPECT PartAligner can be used with portable inspection equipment to simplify set-up operations for machine tools. It is similar to the automated position compensation provided by NC-PartLocator for machine tools with probing systems, but uses a separate measuring device. PowerINSPECT Tubing makes it easier to inspect pipework and tubing. Both of the new options will increase the range of applications for PowerINSPECT and so reinforce its position as the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software.

PartAligner uses the alignment functionality from PowerINSPECT to find exactly where a part is located on a machine tool from a series of measurements. It will normally be used with a portable inspection device positioned on or beside the machine. Typically, this will be an inspection arm for medium-sized components or an optical device for very large tooling. The measured position is then compared with the datum used in the CAM system to program the component. The results can be used to update a project in Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system by adjusting the datum position and orientation. Alternatively, the data can be applied directly to change the offsets in the machine-tool control so that they reflect the measured position of the component rather than the nominal value in the programming software.

Using PartAligner with an independent inspection device overcomes any concerns that might arise from using a machine tool to check its own performance. It is also very flexible as the same inspection equipment can be used on a number of machine tools, in addition to its normal inspection duties. However, an extra step is needed when setting up the system. Each time the device is moved, it must be referenced against an item having known machine-tool coordinates before being used to measure the part position.

The main benefit is in reducing the time and variability associated with fine manual adjustment of the part set-up. PartAligner allows independent inspection to be carried out and positional problems to be corrected much more quickly and easily, especially with larger and heavier parts.

The new PowerINSPECT Tubing module makes it easier to inspect tubing and pipes, especially when these are part of a larger assembly. Specialist software is available for tubing inspection but this generally doesn’t allow the measurement of other types of geometry, so two different and potentially incompatible systems may be required.  PowerINSPECT Tubing makes it easier to inspect this specialized pipe geometry together with other components using a single software program. The Tubing module can be used on the full range of inspection equipment supported by the main PowerINSPECT programme, including manual and CNC CMMs, and inspection arms and other portable devices.

To operate the tubing module, the user simply enters the number of straight sections and their points of intersection. The other features and nominal values are automatically calculated. The module creates the overall design within PowerINSPECT and sets the nominal values to be measured. The inspection can then be undertaken as usual.

The main applications for the module are expected to be for portable inspection solutions used in the oil and gas industry, where pipework is often combined with other components.

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About The Author

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Delcam

Delcam develops, markets, and supports advanced CAD/CAM solutions for the manufacturing industry. Delcam’s range of design, manufacturing, and inspection software provides complete, automated CAD/CAM solutions to take complex-shaped products from concept to reality. Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, Delcam is known for its high-quality support throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Its U.S. head office is in Salt Lake City.